Social support and its consequences: 'Positive' and 'deficiency' values and their implications for support and self-esteem

  • Goodwin R
  • Costa P
  • Adonu J
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Recent research on social support has suggested that there may be only a weak correlation between perceived and received (enacted) support, with the former best seen as a stable, personality-like trait. This study investigates the relationship between individual values, self-esteem and perceived and received support, with samples taken from four nations (the UK, Portugal, Ghana and Mozambique). Respondents completed Schwartz's Portrait Values Questionnaire (Schwartz, Melech, Lehmann, Burgess, & Harris, 2001) and measures of self-esteem and perceived and received support. The values explained more than twice the variance for perceived compared with received support, with those scoring high on stimulation, hedonism and benevolence, and low on tradition, conformity and security, reporting greater perceived support. In path analyses, values significantly predicted perceived support and perceived support predicted self-esteem, but there was no direct relationship between values and self-esteem. These findings are discussed in the light of current debates on the role of values in the promotion of prosocial behaviour.

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